In the month of Iyar, we find ourselves in a unique place. Last month, in the month of Nissan, we were redeemed. We broke out of our limitations with the help of a G‑dly redemption from Egypt. Now we are in the desert, faced with endless sand in all directions. Now what do we do?

We are faced with a task of rebuilding our lives after a miraculous redemption. Now is the time to heal.

As we go through life, there are different chapters. There are times when we are in exile—when we’re not in touch with ourselves and are afraid, lost and feeling hopeless. We are in Egypt in a world that is unfamiliar and frightening, and a world that doesn’t make sense to us. Then there is the moment of redemption. Everything changes. We are released from the prison of our thoughts and feelings; we escape the pain and terror of being in that space. It’s surreal. We take our first deep breaths of freedom, and it’s hard to believe it’s over. And then … then, there is the after. The confusion of where to go next, of what to make of what we experienced. How do we make sense of the trauma we just survived?

Ani Hashem Rofecha—the letters of Iyar (aleph, yud, reish) spell out these words: “I am G‑d, your healer.” This is the time for healing. After the celebrations and jubilation of freedom quiets down, we are faced with a journey of healing.

How is G‑d healing us? How do we find direction and begin to heal?

The Lubavitcher Rebbe explains that we connect the month of Nissan to the month of Iyar by “turning away from bad and doing good.”1 The bad was the exile we found ourselves in, and we turned away from it. We have been traumatized by being in an environment that was unhealthy for us, that was so unaligned with our value system. Yet now, we find ourselves in a desert stretching before us, and we don’t know our new selves yet. Yet we need to fulfill the second half of the directive, to do good.

How do we do that?

According to Kabbalah,2 most months have more holiness infused in the first two weeks versus the last two weeks. For the first two weeks, the moon is growing, bringing more light into the world. For the last two weeks, the moon is shrinking, so the light in the world is decreasing. But the month of Iyar is consistently holy throughout because of our daily mitzvah of counting the Omer. During the month of Iyar, we are counting up until we receive the Torah at Mount Sinai. Every day we are growing, moment by moment, piece by piece.

G‑d is our healer, and He extends his hand to us this month. He offers us a way to grow in our healing; He offers us direction as we count each day, leading us to our purpose.

Meditation

Take a deep breath; feel your abdomen expand and fall. You are here. You have survived everything that has come before this day because you are here.

You may feel lost and unsure of the next step. Unsure of why you have experienced everything you have been through. You may feel like you are in a desert, looking out into the unknown.

Today, your healing journey begins. You have G‑d on your side; He is your healer. All you need to do is take one step today. One step tomorrow.

G‑d is leading you. He has given you the power to heal. This month is consistently holy because every step of healing is holy, no matter how it looks. Every tiny step of healing is an integral part of your purpose.